SAMUEL JOHNSON’S WORKS AND BOSWELL’S LIFE OF JOHNSON, UNIFORMLY BOUND
JOHNSON, Samuel. The Works of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Eleven volumes. WITH: BOSWELL, JAMES. The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. Four volumes. Oxford: Talboys and Wheeler; London: William Pickering, 1825-26. Together, fifteen volumes. Octavo, late 19th-century three-quarter mahogany morocco gilt, raised bands, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, marbled boards and endpapers, top edges gilt. $2600.
Early 19th-century edition of Johnson’s works and Boswell’s Life of Johnson, uniformly bound by Root & Son.
The Works include The Rambler, Lives of the Poets, Journey to the Hebrides, Johnson’s poems, letters, sermons, miscellaneous pieces, and Murphy’s “Essay on the Life and Genius of Dr. Johnson.” Originally designed to be published in nine volumes, this set includes Volumes X and XI, with Johnson’s parliamentary debates. Johnson’s works “remain a monument of genius and learning. Had he written nothing but what is contained in this edition, the quantity shews a life spent in study and meditation. If to this we added the labour of his Dictionary and other various productions, it may be fairly allowed, as he used to say of himself, that he has written his share” (Murphy). “The fascination of [Boswell and Johnson’s] dialogue, that dialogue of mind, heart and voice round which Boswell organized his great Life, is that it is not merely between two very different men but between two epochs. In its pages, Romantic Europe speaks to Renaissance Europe, and is answered” (Wain, 229). Courtney & Smith, 166-67.
Occasional scattered light foxing to interiors. Light rubbing to extremities, a few joints expertly reinforced. A handsome set in near-fine condition.